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Through the Looking Glass: By Saili Lohokare

For years, I have been hiding behind the brick wall, watching the shadows prance in the moonlight.

The people I once knew or I thought I knew will be etched into the crevices of a long forgotten cave, the snippets of insignificant conversation looming in the darkness. Once in a while, a distant memory will return and provoke the remembrance of that name scrawled in cursive on the back of a business card.

But tonight, the people are real. A slight creeping of recollection revives their existence as we all melt into the opulent display of life.  It is true that we all understand the power of perspective. But even perspective has its own perspective. Three-dimensional states such as these that keep the subjectivity of experience rejuvenated long enough that science cannot crush it.

If I was a rose, would I still bloom? If I was a bird, would I still fly?

Inherent qualities that define us, that build us create perspective and nonpareil differences.  But tonight that all falls away. Ordinary girls become the queens of hearts and ordinary boys become men. Because tonight we all dance to eternity, forgetting our differences, forgetting our respective pasts, and are content to just be alive.

The frenzy of prom is something one can only see through the looking glass. The anxiety that comes along with any attempt to recreate an image of perfection takes control of lives. It seems almost plastic in the sense that it advocates the fabrication of personas. Yet, we must understand that the looking glass tells all. The fabrications are quilted together into a temporary alternate reality, where everyone is beautiful and untouched by the suffocating expectations of the smoke filled chambers we call reality.

Ten years from now, every one of us will take a walk to remember down memory lane. We may not remember who wore what or the specific details of the night. But we will always remember how we felt, with our heads held high like regal aristocrats and smiles as wide as an open window on a hot, summer night.

I wonder if I will become a crevice in someone else’s cave, or if they will recall how my iron irises light up in the sunlight and my tomboy dressing style. Will they remember my smile, my obsession with quotes and self-discovery? Or will I cease to exist, blending into fog as their headlights slowly fade away?

“Ms. Tandon, will you please explain to the class why the 1920s was such a symbolic period in United States history?”

“M’am, it is because the 1920s represented a time during which individuals focused on themselves and their personal perseverance towards acquiring happiness.”

With this abrupt jerk away from the intimate pleasure of platonic thoughts, the old pressures of unlearned physics equations and rhetorical terms flood back like the ocean’s waves during a torrential downpour. But the thoughts continue to hide behind the brick wall, watching, waiting. And whenever we feel as if we are alone in the midst of our own shadowy perspectives, we must remember that Alice herself lived through her looking glass.

Saili Lohokare is a junior at American High School in Fremont, Calif.


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FICTION: Through the Looking Glass

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